People with PCOS often realize that their path to recovery is filled with tons of information about what is going wrong in their body and the supplements they should take to make them feel better, make their bodies do what they need to do, help them lose weight, etc. Unfortunately, there are multiple routes to the multiple desired destinations that can be achieved with PCOS and trying to feel better. However, there are a few common supplements that can be added to your regimen regardless of whether you want a baby or don’t, have excess hair or are losing hair – or both, you see what I mean.
One of these supplements is Vitamin D. Current research shows the positive effect that Vitamin D can have on insulin resistance, reduction of hyperandrogenism (excess male hormones), and the metabolization of lipids in the blood. This is great news for people with PCOS because these three things are all significant struggles for us!
Vitamin D Deficiency is quite common in women with PCOS (and especially if you live in an area where Seasonal Affective Disorder can be rampant – think Pittsburgh and Seattle.) Although, the studies that were included in the literature for this review were conducted across the world including the UK, India, and Iran.
“Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is involved in the balance of calcium phosphate and bone mineralization. Vitamin D receptors are expressed at 2,776 genomic positions and modulate the expression of 229 genes in more than 30 different tissues, including the pancreas, liver, immune cells, brain and ovaries. As a result, vitamin D supplementation for PCOS therapy has attracted attention.” (1). This is important to know as a basis for our knowledge with Vitamin D because in order to know what we need to fix, we should know how it is intended to work if our bodies are processing things correctly.
While the BMI was a consideration in the basis of these studies, no significant changes were noted specifically in terms of lowering BMI. However, there were significant findings when considering androgen levels – specifically testosterone. It was found that the testosterone levels were lower in the group receiving supplemental Vitamin D. In addition, blood glucose levels were lower in those receiving Vitamin D as well compared to those who were not supplementing with Vitamin D.
Lipid metabolism, which is also historically an issue with those affected by PCOS, were also found to be lower in the group receiving Vitamin D compared to the control group. Specifically LDL Levels, the study showed that HDL levels were not significantly affected by the Vitamin D supplementation.
In all, while there is still research that needs to be done in this area, as with all PCOS areas, truly. The study concluded that with it’s potentially good effects on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism, and reduction in testosterone levels, Vitamin D should be considered as an addition to the treatment of PCOS.
I would advise to get blood work under the care of your doctor (Reproductive Endocrinologists, specifically) to figure out the dosage that would be appropriate for your body and your specific needs. In addition to all of the potential positive effects that Vitamin D can have for PCOS, it’s also an incredible immune system booster as well as a good supplementation for depression and anxiety.
Here are a few good options available through Amazon:
- Miao, C. Y., Fang, X. J., Chen, Y., & Zhang, Q. (2020). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on polycystic ovary syndrome: A meta-analysis. Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 19(4), 2641–2649. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8525